Rape and Domestic Violence: Rape is prohibited and punishable by imprisonment. Nevertheless, rape–including rape of female refugees–was a problem (see section 2.d.). No reliable data on the extent of rape were available. The law does not specifically address spousal rape. Police often detained alleged perpetrators, but rape cases usually were not tried. Authorities fined and released most suspects. Communities sometimes compelled rape victims to marry their attackers.
Although the law prohibits violence against women, domestic violence was widespread. Police rarely intervened, and women had limited legal recourse, although they could report cases of violence and abuse to local human rights organizations. The government did not provide psychosocial services for victims; family or traditional authorities often did.
According to the 2014-15 Demographic and Health Survey conducted by the Chadian National Statistical Institute, 15 percent of women suffered physical violence in the last 12 months. Women in the Hadjer-Lamis Region reported the fewest incidents (3 percent), while women in the Tandjile Region reported the highest (31 percent). Six percent of women had been victimized by sexual violence during the past 12 months.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FCM/C): The law prohibits FGM/C for girls and women, but the practice remained widespread, particularly in rural areas. According to 2015 UNICEF statistics, 44 percent of girls and women had undergone excision, with rates as high as 90 to 100 percent in some regions. According to the 2014-15 Demographic and Health Survey, 38 percent of women in the country had been cut. FGM/C varied by region, with 1 percent of women excised in the regions of Kanem and Lac and 96 percent in the region of Salamat. Forty-seven percent of women had undergone the procedure between ages five and nine and 37 percent between ages 10 and 14. Practitioners performed all three types of FGM/C–clitoridectomy, excision, and infibulation. Infibulation–the least common but most severe and dangerous type–was confined largely to the Eastern Region bordering Sudan.
By law FGM/C may be prosecuted as a form of assault, and charges may be brought against the parents of victims, medical practitioners, or others involved. Nevertheless, the lack of specific penalties hindered prosecution, and authorities prosecuted no cases during the year.
The Ministry of Women, Early Childhood Protection, and National Solidarity is responsible for coordinating activities to combat FGM/C. The government, with assistance from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), conducted public awareness campaigns to discourage FGM/C and highlight its dangers. The campaign encouraged the public to speak out against FGM/C and other abuses of women and girls.
Sexual Harassment: The law does not prohibit sexual harassment, which occurred.
Reproductive Rights: The law provides for the right of couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children; manage their reproductive health; and have access to the information and means to do so, free from discrimination, coercion, or violence. Many persons, however, lacked access to reproductive information or care, particularly in rural areas. The UNFPA estimated only 3 percent of women used any form of contraception; according to 2014 statistics from the National Institute of Statistics, 5 percent of married women used modern contraceptive methods.
According to the 2014-15 Demographic and Health Survey, skilled and trained personnel attended 24 percent of births nationwide; 73 percent of births in N’Djamena were attended. The maternal mortality rate was 860 deaths per 100,000 live births. Factors contributing to maternal mortality included adolescent pregnancies, multiple closely spaced births, and lack of access to medical care. The country had a severe shortage of health-care providers (fewer than 400 physicians) and a significant shortage of nurses, midwives, hospital staff, and specialists, such as obstetricians. Prenatal care remained limited, particularly in rural areas. Low immunization rates and poor postnatal education were problems.
Discrimination: Although property and inheritance laws provide the same legal status and rights for women as for men, family law discriminates against women, and discrimination against and exploitation of women were widespread. Local leaders settled most inheritance disputes in favor of men, according to traditional practice. Women did not have equal opportunities for education and training, making it difficult for them to compete for formal sector jobs. Women suffered discrimination in access to employment, housing, credit, and pay equity for substantially similar work and in owning or managing businesses. The law does not address polygyny; men may opt at any time to marry additional wives under Islamic law. In such cases the first wife has the right to request her marriage be dissolved but must repay her bride price.
In February 2015 the government staffed the House of the Chadian Woman, established in 2014 for women to have a venue to discuss women’s rights issues and participate in the national decision-making process. In August 2015 the Ministry of Women, Social Action, and National Solidarity was renamed the Ministry of Women, Early Childhood Protection, and National Solidarity. The ministry established a Directorate of Gender Issues to oversee the House of the Chadian Woman; the directorate also provided public outreach on gender issues. During the year the budget for the House of the Chadian Woman reportedly was severely cut.
Birth Registration: Citizenship is derived from birth within the country’s territory and from one’s parents. The government did not register all births immediately, but children without birth certificates were allowed to enroll in schools.
The government began to implement the 2013 National Registry Code, which requires all children, including refugees, to have a birth certificate issued in their place of birth (see section 2.d.). Prior to passage of the law, children born to refugees from the CAR were not considered citizens, although they were provided birth certificates. Children born to refugees from elsewhere were not considered citizens and generally were not provided birth certificates.
Education: Although primary education is tuition-free, universal, and compulsory between ages six and 16, parent-teacher associations often hired and paid community teachers, and parents also were required to pay for textbooks, except in some rural areas. Parents often were required to pay tuition for public secondary education. According to the most recent World Bank Development Indicators database, six girls attended primary school for every 10 boys. Most children did not attend secondary school.
Human rights organizations cited the problem of the “mouhadjirin,” migrant children who attended certain Islamic schools and whose teachers forced them to beg for food and money. There was no reliable estimate of the number of mouhadjirin.
Child Abuse: Child abuse remained a problem, but no data were available on its extent. The Ministry of Women, Early Childhood Protection, and National Solidarity is responsible for the protection of children.
Early and Forced Marriage: In June 2015 the National Assembly ratified a law that sets the minimum age for marriage at 18. The law precludes invoking the consent of the minor spouse to justify child marriage and prescribes sentences of five to 10 years’ imprisonment and fines of 500,000 to 5,000,000 CFA francs ($851 to $8,517) for persons convicted of perpetrating child marriage. According to a study conducted by the Ministry of Women, Early Childhood Protection, and National Solidarity in the regions of Mandou, Ouaddai, and Tandjile, 68 percent of girls were married before age 18; 29 percent were married before age 15.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): Information is provided in the women’s section above.
Sexual Exploitation of Children: The law prohibits the prostitution of children, with punishments of five to 10 years’ imprisonment and fines up to one million CFA francs ($1,700) for conviction. Police patrolled areas suspected to be centers of child prostitution, but no cases were prosecuted during the year. The law prohibits sexual relations with girls under age 14, even if married, but authorities rarely enforced the ban. The law criminalizes the use, procuring, or offering of a child for the production of pornography. It was unclear whether authorities enforced the law, since no cases of child pornography were reported during the year.
International Child Abductions: The country is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. See the Department of State’s Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction at travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/en/legal/compliance.html.
There was no known Jewish community, and there were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.
Trafficking in Persons
See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/.
Persons with Disabilities
The law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, although it does not specify the type of disability or whether the prohibition against discrimination extends to employment, education, air travel and other transportation, access to health care, or the provision of other state services. The government did not effectively enforce the law. There are no laws that provide for access to public buildings for persons with disabilities. The government operated education, employment, and therapy programs for persons with disabilities.
Children with physical disabilities may attend primary, secondary, and higher education institutions. The government supported schools for children with vision or mental disabilities.
In conjunction with NGOs, such as the Support Group for the Disabled in Chad, the government annually sponsored a day of activities to raise awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities. The Ministry of Women, Early Childhood Protection, and National Solidarity is responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.
There were approximately 200 ethnic groups speaking more than 120 languages and dialects. Most ethnic groups were affiliated with one of two regional and cultural traditions: Arabs and Muslims in the north, center, and east; and Christian or traditional religious groups in the south. Internal migration resulted in the integration of these groups in some areas.
Conflict between pastoralists (herders) and farmers continued, particularly in the southern part of the country, and resulted in deaths and injuries. In January, five persons were killed during a conflict between pastoralists and farmers in Bedaya, Mandoul Region.
Most ethnic groups practiced societal discrimination, which was evident in patterns of employment.
Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The law prohibits but does not define “unnatural acts.” On December 12, the National Assembly approved a revision to the penal code making same-sex relations a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than 15 days and a fine of 5,000 to 20,000 CFA francs ($8 to $32). The president had not signed the proposed revision into law by year’s end.
Unlike in the previous year, there were no reports of violence toward the LGBTI community.
There were no LGBTI organizations in the country.
HIV and AIDS Social Stigma
The law provides individuals with HIV/AIDS the same rights as other persons and requires the government to provide information, education, and access to tests and treatment for HIV/AIDS. Persons with HIV/AIDS reported discrimination, and government officials did not always provide information on their rights and treatment options. According to the Chadian Women Lawyers’ Association, women sometimes were accused of passing HIV to their husbands and were threatened by family members with judicial action or banishment. The first lady spoke openly on the issue of HIV/AIDS and criticized discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS.